Saturday, October 30, 2010

Picture from down memory lane....

Noah's Fortune


My mother, who is currently living in Taiwan, went to a fortuneteller and inquired about Noah Maxx's fortune.

It's not a very uncommon practice in Chinese society to consult with a fortuneteller upon the birth of a new child to see what his or her life will be like and what to watch out for. In fact, I believe that everyone in my family, until the births of my cousins, had their fortunes told and their Chinese names made after some suggestions from the fortunetellers.

After my mom had consulted a fortuneteller in Taiwan, she sent the results to my sister, and then my sister sent it to me. It was a big piece of paper with some Chinese proverbs, various timeframes according to the Chinese timetable for times of the day, seasons, and years, and advices. My mom also wrote out a summary of what the fortuneteller had said about Noah Maxx. The fortuneteller used Noah Maxx's birth time and date as the basis for her predictions. I'm sorry that I'm really not all that well-versed in the ways of fortunetelling so I really could not offer further explanations.

Noah Maxx's fortune states that he has two brothers (possible, since his sperm donor had reported pregnancies prior to Noah Maxx), is easy to get along with, will be popular so we should watch out for friends who will lead him astray, he should not marry anyone six years younger or six years older than him (they're monkeys in the Chinese zodiac), he should not travel for more than 50 miles away from home in the first three years of his life (we've already violated that by driving to Ocean City, Md), he is best suited for work in the restaurant business, or as a entrepreneur, not suited for government work, he will get married at age 28, will be very close to his moms (good to know!), and will have two sons of his own. (That means that both the GF and I will not become grandparents until we are in our late 60's and early 70's... :-(

While I am not a huge believer in fortunetelling, I do think that it'll be great if at least one of the good things that was said about Noah Maxx's future will be true. I really do hope that my mom didn't spend a lot of money on the fortuneteller!

Speaking of my mom, we have not seen each other in a very long time. My sister and I are basically our grandparents' children. Now that our family is sort of fractured and scattered after my grandparents passing away, there's aunt and uncle who don't like each other (my aunt had seen Noah Maxx but not my uncle, who now lives in China as a very well paid oil company executive), and a very distant stepmother (she had not seen Noah Maxx yet, and I really don't know if she wants to), and lastly, my father who passed away back in 2008. That basically leaves my mother, who lives far away. The GF and I would like to bring her out here to visit with us so she can hang out with her grandson for a bit. It'll be costly but I think it'll be worth it.

The Hard Days

Nerdstar's been having a hard time understanding my hard days, understanding that even a dream job has bad days. I've had three kinda melt-down days, due to being overly tired and pms. Then there's been the days when Noah's had really fussy afternoons and I've been out of energy. Nerdstar comes home to a fussy mom and baby.

So, yes, I am thankful beyond measure I get to stay at home with Noah. I love watching him change and grow. I love how he smiles when he sees me, how he wakes up happy. I love taking him to the store with me and asking what he thinks of it all. I don't love the screaming when he's hungry, or the times he's bored and nothing works. And honestly, I don't love the housework - never have, never will. The dishes and laundry and vacuuming, the litter box and the trash.

I explained that I feel like taking care of Noah is a job equal to her going to work. Therefore, all the housework is extra stuff for both of us, except, in reality, I do have a lot more time to get it done, in no small part because of the stupid time she spends commuting. We can only dream how much better it would be if she got home from her 9-5 at 5:30 like normal people instead of an average of 6:30.

I explained that staying home with Noah all the time is a little like the time she spent on Mosul. There was always, always a chance that a mortar would come crashing in at anytime. In fact, she came within minutes of being blown up once, and her poor laundry drying on the line was blown up. Now, it's not that Noah is deadly, but it's that same sort of constant underlying stress. You never know when the next screaming/crying will start or stop, or that you'll know what to do about it, or anything really.

Therefore, I just need a little break sometimes. Monday was one of the bad days, and I spent Tuesday and a little bit of Wednesday thinking about getting away today. But, I don't really want to spend the day away from them. I like watching her get to spend time with him, seeing him smile at her. But even if I say she's 100% in charge of him, she's not really, she has the comfort of a backup here.

I think she gets it a little better, but until it's really just the two of them for twelve or more hours, well, she won't fully know.

That said, I am also extremely grateful that she tries to understand, and that she gladly takes over of Noah duty, and helps with the dishes and bottles, and goes to work so we can all eat well. If I had a spouse that didn't - I think I'd kill them in their sleep.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

One Year Ago

Our little boy came into existence.

So Cute!

How cute is this little face? Hopefully soon I can get a pic of him smiling.


He can only spend about ten minutes at a time in this contraption, but he seems to like it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Few Things

Today is day two of Noah waking up at 6:30, at least today I was much more ready for it. (I went to bed about 8:30 last night!) He seems to be happier this morning as well.

His squealing is getting louder and more frequent. It's hard to tell if it's due to frustration or just because he can. He's still mostly a mellow little fellow.

He still hates tummy time. I guess he's going to be one of those babies that rolls back to front first, and then figures out how to roll from front to back just to get off his tummy. I tell him he's got to learn to roll over, and then think - and fetch and play dead.

The poor boy has had skin troubles almost from day one. His cradle cap is gone, but there's still some dry skin issues on the top of his scalp. His face is 90% better, but he rubs it all the time with his fists. It's hard to tell sometimes it he rubs because he's tired, or because his face is itchy. I feel bad, because I'm sure he's getting at least a little lotion on his fists and then getting it in his eyes. This is one of the biggest reasons he sleeps swaddled up, to keep his hands off his face.

He still stares at his fist, looking at it as if he has to keep an eye on it so it doesn't sneak up on him. I still think it's cute.

We're also finally having him sleep in his crib in his room overnight. He just got too long for the bassinet. So that means moving all of his clothes and supplies from our room downstairs to his room upstairs. Which means a change in logistics in where he and I spend most of our time during the day. Really, the only thing downstairs is the tv. His room, the kitchen, and my desk and computer are all upstairs. There's a huge space of empty floor up here behind the desk for him to "play". Nerdstar's been more sad than I have about him not being in our room.

Twice when we've been out in public people have commented on how alert he is, taking everything in. I find that odd, are babies not usually alert when out and about? Although, even at two months we found he likes to people watch when we go out to eat. It's cute. We finally bought a stroller and I think he likes being in it a lot better because he can see everything.

That said, I'm not sure anything has made me feel more like a MOM than pushing him in a stroller at the mall. Weird, I know.

I'm not sure the boy will ever learn his name. I've mostly taken to calling him Shorty and Sweetie. I think Nerdstar still calls him Pinhead. I try to use Noah often enough.

He's still such a sweet, happy baby boy. Even when he's fussy he'll look at me and smile. Although, that said, one of the hardest things is when I'm holding him up facing me and he looks right in my eyes and screams. So far the screams are because he thinks he's dying of starvation, and because I know that can't possibly be true, the screams aren't heartbreaking.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Updated Kitchen

We moved into our house about a year and a half ago. We love the floor plan and the big rooms. Everything in the kitchen was new, but it didn't have a pantry. We have some tall, black bookshelves I built a few years ago that we used for storage, but the kitchen always looked messy and cluttered.

We were some of the lucky home buyers who qualified for the $8,000 tax refund and I hoped we'd be able to do something with the kitchen with it, but we had to wait until Noah was born and all other expenses were taken care of.

This week, I finally found a contractor and had three changes made.

This is our new pantry. I'm really happy with it.



I had the backsplash done to add a better sense of the kitchen being finished.


And last but not least, we changed out the light fixture. The other one was bigger and just didn't seem right in the space. I like the simplicity of this one.


The reason I say "I" in this post and now "we" is that although Nerdstar helped pick things out, it was pretty much my project to get done. No, I didn't use the entire $8,000.

Tasty

Nerdstar was holding him while we were eating pizza and he decided he'd chomp on her because she wouldn't share.


He's also started "talking" to himself more, especially when falling asleep. It's pretty funny to us.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rollin!

He's not rolling over, but he's getting closer. He generally hates tummy time, and had much more fun on his back after it.

video

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The video post

video

From Nerdstar

Hello everyone! Long time no see! With Noah Maxx now at almost 3 months old and me back at work, I have not been really prompt with new updates.

As the GF had already written before, you all know the story to the breaking of my left ankle, so I will not retell the story again. All I can say is that I am glad that it wasn't worse, but mostly I am glad that Noah Maxx wasn't hurt during the fall!

Speaking of Noah Maxx, he has been an absolute joy to be around! He seems to be reaching a new milestone in development every single time! The ways that he smiles at me while I'm changing him or saying hi to him are simply too "cute overload" for me!

That the GF has been more than great at taking care of him and myself (now that I'm sort of an invalid) simply tells me that she is one of these people with the "mom" genes already in her!

We will hopefully post some more pics of Noah Maxx in his daily life soon! Oh, before I go, the only comment that I've got about work is that it has been boring so far.... I'd really rather be around Noah Maxx and the GF!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Update

Things here are good. Nerdstar saw the orthopedist today and there is some soft tissue damage and some little bone fragments, but it'll heal in time. She's got a nifty, removable cast now so she can at least shower and get around. She's been a real trooper and has helped out a lot even with her bum foot.

I think the cats are finally giving into the reality of the pet door. Hope I didn't just jinx it.

We've been in this house a year and a half and tomorrow we've finally got a contractor coming in to build a pantry in the kitchen and install a back splash. I always feel bad spending a lot of money at once, but I'll be so happy when our kitchen looks a lot less cluttered!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fun 12 Hours

Ahhh, finally, Friday night. I can relax, let Nerdstar take over most of the Noah duties and spend some good time with him. I was all set to cook some oven roasted chicken and jasmine rice, bathe the kiddo, and then watch the Rangers beat the Yankees in Game 1.

None of that happened. The chicken didn't defrost in time to have it for dinner, so we ordered Chinese and saved the chicken for lunch today. Noah fell asleep before Nerdstar got home from work, and then slept through bath time.

And the Rangers lost ugly. I was optimistic, but knew they'd scored too early and had a feeling their pitching wouldn't hold up.

I had put Noah down in his crib upstairs about 6 thinking he'd wake up in a couple of hours to eat before being down for the night. Nope. Little Fella slept until 4 a.m. That would have been a perfect chance for us to get caught up on sleep, except I stayed up watching the game thinking that Nerdstar would take care of him in the morning while I slept a little. Then, we could have slept great with him not waking up between midnight and 2. Nope. I kept waking up in anticipation of him waking up, and because he was upstairs I think we were a little more worried about him.

Then, when he finally woke up about 4 a.m., Nerdstar went up to get him and his bottle. She fell down the last couple of stairs, carrying him. He's fine, didn't even get scared and cry or anything. Her ankle swelled up pretty much right away. We got ice on it and wrapped it up. Noah ate and we all got to sleep some more.

He woke up about 7, 7:30 and her ankle was a wreck. She headed off to the emergency room while I did our normal morning routine.

She's called and let me know her ankle is actually fractured in two places. They've put a temp cast on it and given her information on an orthopedist to see soon.

You just never know what's going to happen!

Updated: Oh, and because all of that wasn't enough fun, I forgot to add the part where the cats threw up in two different spots and pooped in Noah's room. They have issues with the pet door that was installed a couple of months ago. They'll come back in it just fine, but one of them wants me to hold it open for her to go out it. Um, yeah, no. So I'm in the process of taking away their litter box. Fights with pets are fun.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Not Pre-Wired

This came up on FB, thought I'd write it here as well.

Nerdstar and I were talking last night about how much can we shield Noah from and for how long - not from anything in particular, but just in general. It's right up there on the top of hard things to do as a parent. Then I brought up the Duggars and how I think their kids are innocent but not ignorant. They seem like fun, rambunctious, intelligent kids, and I know they've been pretty sheltered in a lot of things. I know there are tons of Christian families out there like that, and non-Christian ones as well, who try to keep their kids from age inappropriate stuff as long as possible.

Then the mom was talking about having to teach each of the kids how to share. I thought that if it doesn't come naturally in a house full of that many kids, it just doesn't come naturally.

So back to last night's convo, we were talking about how babies/kids/humans are not pre-wired/hard wired to be Good. We have to be taught not to lie, how to share, and on and on.

I'm a Christian, and believe that man is fallen - and that he can be redeemed. It's just weird/interesting to see that played out in babies.

Hahahaha

Cake!!!

I can't wait for events like this.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Assumptions and Explanations

We had something similar to this at our last doctor appointment. I assumed that the new doc we were seeing for that appointment would read the chart and have some basic info about us and Noah. I guess not. She starts off asking about the birth and we give the basics about the delivery and such. Then she mentions the word adoption and things got confusing for us all. Because we had just explained that Nerdstar had delivered Noah just fine, I thought she might have insight enough to ask if I'd adopted Noah, but me explaining that VA isn't a friendly state seemed to confuse the doc a lot. I still have no idea why she was bringing up adoption. From there it was a really short exam and then the nurse came in and give him his shots.

The other annoying thing about the doc visits is this whole list of questions the nurse or doc asks, such as are there weapons in the house, who all lives in the house, etc. The first time they were asked I thought it was odd, but didn't dwell on it. Then on his second visit they asked all the same questions. I was annoyed and said we just answered them last time. The nurse said they ask them every time. I guess that makes sense in that yes, something could have changed in two months. But on the next visit I'm going to make sure to ask why they ask these questions and if the answers are private or are reported somewhere.

I kinda wish there was some big, red flag in his medical chart saying "lesbian parents."

Just like you never stop coming out as a gay person - every time you get to know someone new you have to decide on telling them or not - it's going to be the same with Noah and his having two moms.

At IHOP, a Chinese waitress asked Nerdstar if her husband was white, she could tell Noah was mixed. The rest of the convo was in Chinese, so I don't know all of what Nerdstar explained. But, we have to decide all the time on just how long and involved a conversation we want to have with anyone who wants to chat with us about Noah. Do we let them keep their assumptions or try to explain? I've got no problem telling anyone and everyone we're both his moms, but it does take time and patience.

And I understand people not leaping to the conclusion we're both his mom. Even if people are used to seeing/recognizing lesbian or gay couples out in public, and I think for the most part people are, the addition of a baby really does change the picture. It's reasonable to people to assume there's a man involved somewhere if there's a baby.

I don't mind it all too much really. I learned a long time ago I am under no obligations to tell anyone anything. But I also don't mind having nice conversations with random people. I'm sure that's partly because I've never had anyone be a total jerk.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Newest Funny Thing

He's getting close to knowing he has hands. He'll hold his right fist out in front of his face and stare at it intently like he's trying to move it by telekinesis - which, eventually he'll figure out that he can.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Too Funny!

You really have to watch this video!