Thursday, September 28, 2006

Tagged by Krista

I'm not sure I even have 7 readers still, but I'll post this anyway, *just* because Krista tagged me.

Here are the rules:
List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether or not they have words, or even if they're not any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they're listening to.

Do you know how long it has been since I listened to music? Ages. I mean, I have the radio on in the car (talk radio in the mornings, though), but I'm not really *listening,* ya know? I used to have a CD or something on constantly, and I used to buy CDs (especially movie scores) regularly. I don't even remember the last CD I bought, or listened to for that matter. Probably either Closer by Josh Groban or Slippery When Wet by Bon Jovi (how's that for a pair? LOL) when we drove back home Labor Day weekend. I'm so sad! And I really miss it; didn't really realize how much until just now. I'll try to turn on the radio or a CD or something the next time I'm just crunching data. Anyway....

Because of this, I'm taking a slightly different approach. These are the songs that have been earworms for me for the last couple of weeks, not in a bad way, just pleasantly keeping me company in my head. Style wise, they're pretty much all over the map, which is a fair mirror of my taste in general. (The only primary genre of mine that is missing is 80s/hair bands.) My selections, in no particular order:

* "Remember When It Rained" by Josh Groban
* "Breakfast at Tiffany's" by Deep Blue Something
* "Don't Let Your Heart" (from Do It A Cappella) by the Mint Juleps
* "Barbarian Horde" (from Gladiator) by Hans Zimmer
* "Kiss the Girl" (from The Little Mermaid) by Alan Menkin and Howard Ashman
* "The Goodbye Song" from Bear in the Big Blue House
* "Reflections of Passion" by Yanni

Who to tag? Um, I'm trying to think of folks I know still read my blog who might play along. Let's try these folks: Annette, Shalini, Melanie (the one from down under), Valerie, Ginny, Kelli (who I know does not read here often, but I might catch her), and Jacob (you can leave them in the comments, or gee, post them on your own blog!!) Now none of those people will read anymore! LOL Anyone who wants to play, feel free.

Currently feeling: musical (though presently music-less might be more accurate)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Miserable or drugged

Those seem to be my only two options. I am officially in the midst of Luke's cold, and man, do I feel horrible. If *my* mom had tried to drop me off at daycare feeling like this, I'd have cried, too. I can either sit here and feel awful, or I can take the decongestants that I shouldn't take (it raises my blood pressure too much) and then try to work feeling all muddle-headed. Fun choice. At least Luke seemed to be mostly over it after 4 days, so I am hopeful of the same for me. Just sniffles left for him, which may be allergies, which I think is a contributing factor for me as well, but insurance won't cover Allegra (which works fabulously for me) now that Claritin (which has NO effect on me at all) is OTC. I could take Benedryl, but then I'd be unconscious. Not good when you have to work and drive. Might have to break down and take a Children's Benedryl, though, if the sneezing and itchy eyes doesn't stop soon. That will just make me sleepy instead of out cold.

Maybe I can at least be well/significantly better by the weekend? I really need to be. Luke's birthday party is in less than two weeks! (Sesame Street, for those curious.) And we are expecting 11 people besides ourselves, two of whom visit rarely, and one of whom I have never met. Much much much cleaning to be done. I really need to move Luke's birthday farther away from fall show premieres; it would simplify my life dramatically! LOL

Luke is doing better at daycare, but still not great. Well, let me rephrase. He does just fine once he's there and he can't see me. It's just the dropping him off part. Thursday, Friday, and Monday, he started crying as soon as we drove up, and I had to carry him in. Today, he fussed a bit but didn't cry when we drove up, and he didn't object to getting out of the car (though he didn't jump out like usual either), and insisted on being carried (extremely odd coming from Mister "I Want to Walk Everywhere"). But he didn't cry until after I closed the half-door behind him in the room, and he stopped as soon as he couldn't see me. Maybe it's getting better. I know it is a big adjustment, and I know being sick didn't help, and I know he'll get used to it. I still feel bad that it distresses him so much.

Anyway, that is the update with me. Last week was a bit of a nightmare. Nothing major went wrong, just a zillion little things that drove me bonkers. The weekend wasn't a whole lot better from a "no time" perspective, between a migraine Thursday night, company in town Friday (we stayed up *way* late talking), and a GTG on Saturday (followed by a the full blown cold which put me to bed at 8 PM), so I am *way* behind on email, which is very unusual for me. My apologies to those who I know have sent me things. I hope to get back to all of you by the end of the week!

Okay, I just realized I am babbling. Darn Sudafed (non-drying max strength liqui-gels. I'd hate to see the drying kind; I feel like I swallowed a desert). I'll stop now.

Currently feeling: awful

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Not so good today

Well, we have officially come down with our first daycare-induced illness, which appears to be a cold. I heard him wake up multiple times last night, sometimes coughing and always sneezing and sniffling. He woke up by himself crying at 6:30 this morning, which is unusual (both waking up at that time and the crying itself). He's usually pretty happy in the mornings, but not today; he is clearly exhausted. He ate pretty good, which made me feel better, and seemed perfectly happy to get dressed and get in the car. Then he almost fell asleep on the way there, which is also not normal.

But once we drove up to the daycare center and I turned the car off, he started crying. He really cranked it up when I undid the carseat straps. Normally, he is struggling to get out of the carseat as soon I start working with the straps. Today, he just sat there even after all the straps were off/unbuckled, and he actively resisted me getting him out! And when I put his feet on the ground so I could close the car door, he tried to climb back *in* the car. I picked him up, and he stopped crying, and he didn't cry as we went inside with me still holding him. But the instant I put him down, he started wailing and backing away from the door to his room. I had to pick him up and physically hand him to the teacher. Obviously not the first or last time that has happened to this teacher, but I still felt really bad for both of them.

I truly hope that he had this reaction because he was sick and tired, and not because he has decided after three days that he's had enough of daycare.

Currently feeling: sad

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Daycare: Day 1

6:30 AM sure came early, especially when I simply could not sleep the night before (as evidenced by the late time stamp on my newspaper blog entry). I finally managed to get up and get dressed. He usually turns over some time between 6:30 and 7, so I was hoping to catch him when he was semi-awake. Considering he routinely sleeps until 8 AM or later, I knew 6:45 would also come as quite a shock to him, so I was trying to let him sleep as late as possible. I finally hear him moving around, so I go into his room. And he is out cold! I really hated to wake him up because he looked so cute and sweet and peaceful all asleep. Since you never know when he is actually asleep at night, we almost never go in and check on him, and even if I did, his room is so dark I'd never be able to see him anyway. Yeah, great way to start the morning, with a worse guilt trip than I already had! I try taking away puppy, Eeyore, and his blanket that was underneath him. Nothing. I turn off his noise maker and turn on the overhead light (using my head to block the direct glare of the bulbs from his face), and still nothing. It took several minutes of rubbing, shaking, and calling his name to get him to open his eyes. He was not very happy. I felt so bad! (Hmm... takes him a while to go to sleep, but can sleep through anything once he's out, late sleeper, slow to awaken... guess he really does take after me.)

We go downstairs, and he is obviously confused, especially as to why it is dark outside. He was fascinated with the dark windows. He usually wakes up well after sunrise and goes to bed at dusk, so that was a rather new experience for him. I turned on the porch light so he could see out, and he just seemed even more baffled. We watched WeatherScan for a few minutes (standard morning procedure), then I offered him breakfast. He refused waffles (which made me afraid he wasn't going to want to eat before we left), but finally agreed to grits after I supplied him with his morning orange juice fix. By the time he was done eating, the sky was getting light, and he was in a much better mood. We emptied the dishwasher (another morning ritual, though it usually preceeds breakfast), then got him changed. Again, he was rather confused, since I rarely took him out of his pajamas until after his first nap, but he didn't seem distressed. When I asked if he was ready to go, he nodded yes, ran over and grabbed his shoes, and then hopped in the recliner and stuck his foot out. So helpful, so eager, and with no clue I was about to drop him off with total strangers for the entire day.

We arrived at the daycare center and walked down to the morning class room (where all of the kids who can walk gather until the classes split up around 8:30). We went in, and he immediately jumped in and started playing with the other kids, but he kept an eye on me as reassurance that it was okay for him to be playing. I chatted with the teacher for a minute, and she seemed very impressed that he wasn't shy or scared and just jumped right in. Another mother encouraged me to just slip out when he wasn't looking, but I refused. I didn't want him looking for me. As much as I knew it would hurt both of us, I wanted him to know that I was leaving. My father was scolded the first time he dropped my brother off at daycare 20-mumble-mumble years ago. "You do not sneak out on a child. You look at him, you tell him bye and that you'll come back to get him later, and then you come back just like you said." So that's what I did.

I slipped out behind the half door (top part open so adults can see in but kids can't get out), but I actually had to call his name to get his attention, he was so busy playing. He did get distressed when he realized I was on the other side of the door and ran up to me. I bent down, kissed the top of his head (obviously a very short half-door), said "I love you, Luke. I'll see you this afternoon. Bye!" And I bolted down the hallway. I heard the teacher immediately try to distract him with a game some of the other kids were playing (Going on a Bear Hunt, for those of you who know that; I remember it from when I was a kid), and he wasn't crying that I could hear.

I, on the other hand, was not doing so well. I managed to keep it together and answer a couple of questions from the person in charge that day (the manager was out) about his contact info and such, and then I finally made it out to my car. And promptly fell apart. Thank goodness I had remembered to bring a few tissue at the last minute. I spent several minutes sitting in my car, trying to get it together, and finally felt comfortable enough to attempt to drive home. It was really hard, though, since every time I looked in the rear view mirror, I could see the top of the (empty) car seat. I am never out, alone, in my car, without Luke. DH's car does not have a car seat, so if I need to go out by myself, it is *always* in his car so he has the car seat if needed. It was just so strange to be in MY car, with the car seat, and without Luke.

Then I got home, and it really sunk in. The house felt so huge and so quiet and so empty. It's not like I haven't been home without him before, but usually in those cases, I've had about all of him I can take and DH is taking him out to give me some peace and quiet, and they're gone an hour at most. This was different, and I had never realized how full and alive Luke made the house until he was no longer there. I pretty much sat down and cried for 30 minutes. Spoke with my brother briefly (who didn't mind that I was crying the majority of the time), which helped me start to get with it, but it was still about 10:30 before I could speak with my boss without feeling like I was going to burst into tears. We had been communicating most of the morning via instant messaging (I can cry all I want and still type), and I made him *promise* not to ask me anything about Luke or how daycare went, or even about my weekend, otherwise I would start crying again (and neither of us wanted that). He was gracious enough to abide by my wishes, and just very understanding of the whole thing, having three children of his own. Have I mentioned what a great guy my boss is? (And no, I'm not sucking up. I don't think he even knows I have a blog.)

I was very grateful for the work, as it made the day pass pretty quickly. Once I started working, the only time I had a problem was at lunch. When I sat down to eat, I felt tears coming on because I was so lonely. Practically every day for the last 2 years, I have eaten lunch with him. There are precious few exceptions (get-togethers, brief out of town trips for 1-2 days); maybe 10-15 days of his entire life. But he wasn't there, and will not be here 5 out of 7 days for a long time to come, so I'll have to get used to eating by myself.

DH came home around 4, and I didn't think to ask him what it was like for him to walk in the door and not be tackled by Luke running full steam into his legs to greet him. DH actually got to come in, ask me about my day, and sit down, instead of immediately going upstairs to "prep Luke's room" for bedtime as he has done every work day for about a year now. He (DH) seemed to handle it okay, but he also seemed a bit lost. I was intending to leave at 4 to pick Luke up, so DH accompanied me.

When we got there, he was in the toddler room (sometimes, if there aren't many toddlers or two year olds, they combine classes into the 2 year old room after nap time). He seemed very excited to see me. Yay! He doesn't hate me after all. I wasn't real thrilled with the situation in the room, though. There were three other toddlers in there (all boys), but the oldest one was about 16 months old. The others were 13-14 months and just starting to get an handle on walking. There was no one remotely near Luke's age and/or abilities in there with him. Now this won't be the case every day. They have a lot of part time kids, especially aged 3 or less. Some only come half-day (usually in the mornings), while others only come 2 or 3 days a week. So it won't be that way every day, and he does get lots of interaction with the 2 year old class (mornings, lunch, and recess, plus if they combine classes), so I guess it's okay. They are quite strict on the "you can't move up to the next class until you actually turn the right age" thing, but it's only three weeks away. Maybe it will be good for him to be in a smaller, calmer class where he isn't the absolute youngest for a few weeks until he gets the hang of it, but I will make sure he is moved up as soon as possible after his birthday (should be immediate, since they have openings at all levels).

We talked with his teacher, and she said he did very well, especially for it being both his first day and his first time in daycare. He didn't cry at all, but he didn't eat much. I told her that didn't surprise me at all. We're still having trouble moving on to "real food" and away from baby food, and he's a picky eater as well. "He ate all of his animal crackers and juice at snack, though." Yeah, that sounds about right! LOL We asked if he was ready to go, and he emphatically nodded, turned to the teacher, said "bye" (which she said was the only word besides uh-oh he had said the whole time, but I told her that was also normal for him), and started walking towards the door. Well, apparently one of the other little boys was rather attached to Luke, and just started wailing that we were leaving. He toddled after us as we walked to the door, and I felt so bad closing the door while he was screaming, but it was starting to upset Luke. I guess he made a new friend!

So, that was Daycare Day 1. I'd say things went extremely well. I was terrified that he would start crying when we drove up to the daycare center today and he realized where we were (and that he would be left there again), but he actually seemed excited to be back. He got out of the car, walked eagerly to the door, and went right into the classroom without a fuss. He hung back for just a second, then jumped right into the fray. I did not go in this time, I just opened the half door and let him go in. I called his name, said bye, he waved (looking a little uncertain, but not about to cry), and I left (and managed not to cry). When I picked him up, the teacher said he didn't cry and had another great day. So, I guess we're all adjusted now. I hope it lasts and he doesn't change his mind on me later this week or next week. In the mean time, he seems to be having a ball!

Currently feeling: relieved

We survived

Things went quite well today. Full recap later. Just spent 2.5 hours on the phone with my best friend (with whom I have not spoken in at least 3 months), and I am beat. Just didn't want to leave you hanging about how our day went.

Special thanks to those who left comments and/or emailed me privately to check on me throughout the day. As you predicted, he handled it a lot better than I did. I just hope tomorrow goes as well. I'm afraid he will start crying when we drive up, realizing that he will have to stay again. I sure hope not.

Okay, I have to get up in 5 hours, so off to bed with me.
Currently feeling: very sleepy

Sunday, September 17, 2006

In about 8 hours

Created by: The Newspaper Clipping Generator

I found that awesome newspaper clipping generator on Melanie's blog quite a while back. Thanks Melanie! I've been looking for the perfect excuse to use it, and this seemed like the right one. Maybe I'll do some more at various points in the future.

Well, if you actually read it, you have probably deduced that I am feeling very uptight about tomorrow. I know he'll be fine, even if he does cry at first. I know I will fine, even if I spend the whole day fighting back tears (like I have tonight). I know he won't hate me forever, and I seriously doubt that having him go to daycare will scar him for life. In fact, I am fairly certain that in the not-too-distant future, he will cry when I come to pick him up because going home is so boring. I *know* all of these things. I really do.

But no amount of knowing them is making me feel any better right now. I thought I was doing pretty good. I barely got misty when picking out a new shirt for him to wear on his first day this weekend. It didn't phase me to try and decide whether or not to send one of his blankets with him (I decided to put it in his bag, but to tell the teacher to only use it if he really won't settle down for nap). I got everything packed in the bag without any trouble. Have I just been in total denial up until now?

It was only when my husband asked me what time I need to get up in the morning that I started having issues. Wait, if I'm getting up earlier, that means things are different, and you know that if I am waking up about 90 minutes earlier than normal, it has to be serious. And serious means I should be stressing and worrying. I don't know what tomorrow will bring. I just hope it goes as well as it can. I'm not sure whether to hope that he does cry (so I know he loves me and will miss me) or to hope he doesn't (so I don't have to look into those huge blue eyes filled with crocodile tears and turn my back).

Guess I should take a box of tissue with me in the car for after I've dropped him off. I *really* don't want to cry while I'm there, thought I doubt I would be the first or the last to do so. I hate crying. I usually only cry when I get supremely angry (like with psycho daycare lady). I don't like doing it then, but at least I feel that it is justified to a certain extent. But crying any other time makes me feel weak and stupid, which then just makes me angry with myself for acting weak and stupid. I am a strong and confident woman, and I should be able to control myself. I should be above tears, especially over something that is such a normal thing. It's not like he broke a bone or something! He's going to daycare, to have fun with other kids and to (hopefully) learn some things. He'll be having a blast, and I won't be at home, stressing about ignoring him to do work, or stressing that he is taking up so much of my attention that I can't work. This is a good thing all the way around. What on earth is there to be upset about?! GET A GRIP!!

Yet here I sit, with a slow but steady trickle of tears running down my face, and I can't stop it. I do not see much sleep in my evening forecast, and I see yet more tears tomorrow. I just hope I can keep them from Luke, so he will be happy and confident as he enters this new phase of his life. May it be a prosperous one, for both of us.

Currently feeling: ridiculous

Friday, September 15, 2006

Cue Van Halen

Okay, I know Kerry and I agreed that we would try to blog at least one memory a week about our sons. I don't know how she's been doing on that agreement, but I haven't done it since we talked about it! I'll try to get to it, I promise. And to that end, here is this week's memory:

Luke has learned to jump! It's not very high, of course, but both feet are definitely leaving the ground under the power of nothing but his own little legs. It adds and especially humorous touch to his tantrums, and it is so hard not to laugh sometimes. He is just so upset, but when he starts jumping, both DH and I sometimes have to turn away not to snicker in his face. He's been watching other kids do it for several months now, and he's been practicing in his crib most mornings for a month now, holding the rail and using both arms and legs to get his feet off the mattress, but he finally put it all together on his own this week. Go Luke!
Currently feeling: bouncy

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The circle is now complete

LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy Game for PC

I've been waiting almost 18 months for this day! LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy Game has finally been released. We all knew it was inevidable after playing the first game. Other than Bubble Bobble, Bejeweled, and Minesweeper, I don't play computer games. At all. (Computer solitaire doesn't count; it's just easier than cards.) But I adored the first LEGO Star Wars game, and I've been dying for this one.

We ran into one small glitch. Since we're not really gamers, we skimped on the graphics card when we bought the computer. 2.5 years ago. So yeah, it is really straining with some of the graphics, especially the cut scenes. (This card is listed in the "low end" category on most of the websites we found; joy.) We had to turn off all of the graphics effects (like plastic reflections, blooms, and bump mapping) just to get the game play to run smoothly (it would run, but with an awful frame rate, and it's not a refresh rate problem on our monitor). Very sad. But we can't really afford a new computer right now (certainly not one of that calibur), so we'll just have to make it through. At least we finally got smooth game play! Some of the cut scenes are still choppy and/or slow, but we'll live.

We've completed Chapter 1 of Episode IV so far (would have done more, but it took us 90 minutes of tinkering to get it to run correctly, and by then it was *late* (and it's even later now, sheesh)). The camera angles are not as good in this one as in the other one, which can make it difficult to see what you're supposed to be shooting at (no Jedi yet). Maybe it's just while we're on the ship? It seemed better in the Cantina and outside. We'll see. It's mostly the same, but just enough different in the way it does things to be frustrating. And it does seem they have ramped up the difficulty a bit. Lots of people may think that is a good thing (and I think there is a progressively harder optional component, but I don't think we have that on right now), but I don't want to get frustrated and quit. The other one was just enough of a challenge for *me* to keep me interested and challenged, but not to make me give up. I hope this one is the same. I'll keep you updated! And I forsee many late nights in my future.

Currently feeling: happily obsessed

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Apologies to my fellow bloggers

My apologies to my fellow bloggers. I am *so* behind on reading blogs right now, between the funeral and the mad scramble for daycare the last 2-3 weeks. My Bloglines account is about to hit 1600 new items (seriously). I'll get caught up eventually, but until then, I want to apologize for not reading and commenting like I should. Hope you all are doing well! And thanks for continuing to read and comment here. I'll reciprocate as soon as I can, I promise.
Currently feeling: everything pile up

Friday, September 08, 2006

We have daycare!!!

Woo-hoo! We have daycare!!! I finally found a place that I liked that had openings. The irony? It is a KinderCare center, the same chain I stayed in as a child. Why it didn't occur to me to look there before now, I'm not sure, but I'm glad I did. I used CitySearch for ratings, and not only was this one more highly rated than the 10 other sites I had marked to call today (1 other KinderCare, the rest various private and chain places), it was the only one of the 10 shown as "recommended" by their users and editors. I was truly surprised that they had an opening. They are a touch more expensive than any of the other places I was looking at (about $8 per week), and they are not the closest KinderCare to us, but I was very comfortable there, and the staff consists of some of the nicest people I have met, so it will be worth it. I think Luke will really enjoy it. I don't have an official start date yet (I took the tour late this afternoon), but I'd guess a week from this coming Monday.

I want to thank all of you for supporting me through what has been an extremely tough time with finding a daycare. Lots of you have heard even more of the gory details than I have provided here, everyone has given great advice (and helped me through the incident with psycho lady), and most importantly, just listened when I needed someone. Thank you all so much!
Currently feeling: thrilled

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Only a week?

Geez, has it only been a week since we left? Feels like a month, at least. I don't ever remember being this tired in my entire life. (Wait, I take it back; the 72 hours after Luke was born was worse, but not by much.) All things considered, everything went very well, and it was great to see everyone, despite the circumstances. But I am eternally grateful to be back home, and beyond ready to sleep in my own bed. Special thanks to my parents for hosting us for the week (happy birthday Daddy), and to my friend Ginny for being our emergency cat sitter.
Currently feeling: exhausted