Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wait, one more thing

What does a 2-year-old wear to a funeral? Black dress with white turtleneck and tights and black shoes sound okay? I seem to remember my mother used to think it was inappropriate for children to wear black to funerals, so when I attended funerals (even in high school) I used to wear muted colors but not black. But my husband's family is old school working-class Italian Catholic, so I'm thinking super traditional might be the way to go here. Thoughts?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Nothing to say

We were going to spend Christmas with my parents (it was also my dad's 70th birthday) but then decided at the last minute to spend it with my in-laws, as it was rapidly becoming clear that this would be my mother-in-law's last Christmas. We bought plane tickets to go to my parents in January instead. Now it looks like we'll have to cancel that trip, too. My MIL's doctor took her off chemo a few weeks ago. She is now receiving only palliative care, from a hospice nurse who visits every day. She has deteriorated rapidly in the last week or two. My FIL says it will probably be two weeks. We are now just waiting.

Between this, and my being laid off, and the problems we're having in our marriage, the amount of stress and hurt our little family is experiencing right now is just too much. I'm going to be laying low for a while.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Twenty-two months

Scene: The electriclady abode, afternoon. electriclady is checking her email in the bedroom. She hears Bat Girl singing to herself in the living room, and heads out to check on the child.

EL: [Bat Girl], what are you doing?

BG: Just hangin' out.


Scene: Same location, evening. Bat Girl, facing a blank wall, begins hopping about while giggling like mad.

EL: Honey, what are you doing?

BG: I dancin' with my shadow!


5 things the TV has taught my child about:
1. Four-leaf clovers
2. The use of "Your Highness" as a form of address (I know, right? Imagine being called "Your Highness" by your toddler)
3. The existence of shadows (see above) and echoes, and the necessity of yodeling when an echo is encountered (resulting in her shouting "Lodelodelay HOO-HOO!" into building lobbies and playground tunnels)
4. Mermaids, and the benefits of befriending same
5. "It's lovely!" as a form of praise


BG is crazy for the bottle right now. We were hoping that we could start getting her off it soon, but in the last few weeks (probably due to all the changes in routine brought by my losing my job, plus all the traveling, plus did I mention the four canines coming in simultaneously?) she's been begging for the bottle constantly. This plus the nap strike plus lots of night waking is making our lives rather hellish right now. We'd gotten lazy, bringing her into bed with us and keeping a bottle of water on the bedside table which we just stuck in her mouth every time she woke up and cried for it (multiple times a night) so we wouldn't have to get up, but we are now beginning Operation Take Back the Night, which involves doing whatever it takes to get her to fall back asleep without a bottle (lots of music and rocking--it's like having a newborn again, only 25 pounds instead of 6) and, eventually, getting her back in her crib, since my husband claims his internal organs will not survive many more nights of toddler kicks.


She is part baby, part kid. She loves to dance ("Mommy, get up!" she orders if I dare sit down while the music is playing), to help feed the cat and the fish, to "read" books to herself out loud, to snuggle (and demands "Snuggle Mommy!" often). She can climb into her stroller and high chair by herself but still rarely deigns to hold her own bottle. She knows all the verses to "The Wheels on the Bus." She is growing up so fast.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Post-Thanksgiving download

In lieu of an actual composed post, some bullet points:

• We are exhausted. Four houses in four days for Thanksgiving (really) and then it took us 7.5 hours to drive what should have taken 3.5 hours, thanks to combination of freezing rain and holiday traffic. BG was a trooper and barely complained even though she peed through her diaper and her clothes (which I didn't discover until we got home, because of the lack of compaining).

• Bat Girl is on a nap strike. Turmoil at home between my getting laid off and my husband going back to work, all four (yes FOUR) canines coming in simultaneously, all the travel, new babysitters, changing daily habits due to changing weather and light, all rolling into one big napless suck. The only way she napped all weekend is that we were in the car every day around naptime and were able to trick her into it.

• My mother-in-law is dying. I didn't know where to put this bullet point to make it not awkward among the rest. She has been very sick for a very long time (metastatic breast cancer) but has always been able to maintain a basic level of activity and enjoyment despite the treatments and side effects. This weekend all she could do was lie down. She has no appetite. She can barely breathe. She hardly was able to interact with BG. My FIL just sits in his room and reads the Bible. My husband and I cooked, cleaned, shopped, did laundry, whatever we could, but I'm just furious that my FIL doesn't do more. My husband doesn't really talk about it but it is freaking him out.

• My husband's grandmother (MIL's mother) is also in bad shape. She had a stroke a couple months ago that left her nearly incapacitated. This weekend was the first we've seen her since. She can sit up but can't really move or speak, though she can smile and recognize you. She had been on the assisted living floor of her nursing home but now is moved upstairs to the full care floor, which is a horrible, depressing place, drooling, neglected old people in wheelchairs and hospital beds scattered around the lobby like ghoulish party favors. I also got to change a revoltingly messy diaper (Bat Girl's, that is) on the floor of the nursing home bathroom and now want to burn the diaper bag and everything in it.

• Stressed out about finding a babysitter to cover two days a week this month while husband and I are both working (he picked up some full-time holiday season work, I've got some contract work two days/week).

• So we're having a bit of a time, over here. More later.