Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Christmas, Merry Holidays, and all of that

We're off in just a few hours to Colorado, otherwise known as Antarctica--this week, at least. Two feet or more of snow with freezing temps for the next several days means Eden's first Christmas will be a white one. And we couldn't be happier.

Merry Christmas, everyone, and may Santa bring you all your heart's desires. Unless it's a pony, in which case you had better have been very, very, unbelievably good this year. For myself, I just hope I've earned a pair of good socks, although I'll settle for a Wii.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

...and another parental milestone is reached: the first major screwup

We knew it was coming, that time when we would finally pause, look on the last 10 months, and have the realization dawn on us:

We seriously messed that one up.

A relatively consistent undercurrent has been running through these posts from day one--our little girl isn't a big fan of sleepytime. We tried to ignore it, we tried to pretend it would fix itself, but we can no longer escape the fact that Eden doesn't sleep well. She doesn't sleep well with us and she definitely doesn't sleep well without us. It's a problem that's been getting slowly worse every month. But, much like mildew in the shower, we were able to ignore it because it didn't seem all that bad at the time. It could always be fixed later, when it got really ugly.

Well, guess what: it's really ugly (Eden's sleep habits, not the shower mildew).

It's all come to something of a head this week; Eden won't fall asleep when we use any of the old tricks, she won't stay asleep once she finally does nod off, and she's made everybody in the house (including herself) absolutely miserable. When Baby ain't sleepin', ain't nobody sleepin'. It took several consecutive days of fighting Eden's sleep demons--and mainly losing--for us to realize that something needs to be done, because what we've been doing obviously isn't cutting it anymore.

In our defense, we didn't really know any better. I mean, seriously, who knew you had to teach a kid how to sleep? Well, just about every baby manual ever written, for one, although that doesn't do us much good since we gave up literacy a couple minutes after college graduation. And probably our parents, for another, who raised their own kids (us) and figured this stuff out eons ago. And, okay, maybe our friends with kids, who have fresh memories of how these things go.

Alright, you've made your point: we screwed up.

So once we get back from Christmas in Colorado, it's time to start from square one with a new sleep regimen. I can't imagine we'll get much sleep during the initial stages--but then, that's not
much different from what we get now. Just with more, you know, temper tantrums.

p.s.--I tried to find some pictures of a sleeping Eden to go with the topic, but since she doesn't sleep, there really aren't any. As rare as sleep is around here, you'd think we'd snap all kinds of sleeping pics and, I don't know, leave them around the house to give Eden ideas or hoard them like gold or stare at them on especially bad days to remind us what sleep actually looks like, but there you are. Instead, I thought I'd put up some shots to trick you into believing she's actually a little angel.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Growing up with the fast-forward button pressed

So Sarah and Eden went to Phoenix for a week to visit the family Robertson and when they came back I had a different daughter. Oh, she looked similar to the old Eden, except maybe with a little more hair and an extra inch of height and ounce of weight, but this girl was doing things I had never seen before. All of a sudden, Eden was not just crawling, but crawling well. She wasn't happy to piddle about in the general area we put her in--she had learned that she could go from room to room, which makes keeping track of her immeasurably more difficult to keep up with. This seems like a simple enough development step, but for Eden it's nothing short of remarkable; until now she never showed any sign that she realized there was more than the few square feet immediately surrounding her. Now she's remembering the veggie puff she dropped in the dining room, or Ne-Hi's water bowl in the kitchen that she knows she's not supposed to play with, and she's crawling to get them--from the living room or the bedroom or the bathroom, at any time of the day. Her world just exploded in size, and she's remembering where it all is.

She's not content with crawling, though; she's now pulling up on couches and chairs to stand on her feet (whose purpose up until now was to provide tickle buttons for Sarah and I to make Eden laugh, or maybe for Eden to gnaw on in a pinch). She's like a mountain climber tossed into the Sangre de Cristos--she can't resist seeing something taller than her and not immediately climb it.

And she's talking now, too. Oh, she's not exactly quoting Shakespeare, yet--her speeches are mainly variations on the na-na-na da-da-da ma-ma-ma theme--but she's trying. I know she's trying, because her vocalizations are directed at things (her momma, mainly). When she's tired or hungry or whiney, it's ma-ma-ma; when she's playing or excited it's ba-ba-ba or na-na-na. She said da-da-da all through the Phoenix trip, but she apparently decided that was so last week, because she hasn't said it once since she got back (or maybe she just doesn't like me).

And there's a myriad of other little changes which may not get specifically noticed but which collectively add up to a comletely different Eden. All within the last week or two, most of which I didn't get to see. And while that may be part of why she seems so different, the fact remains that she's doing things now that wasn't doing two Mondays ago. If Eden's life were TiVo, I'd think someone accidentally sat on the remote and fast-forwarded her infancy a little bit. A lot, actually; in a matter days she's gone from being our beautiful little baby to being our beautiful little handful.

She's still not sleeping, though (I write as Eden wakes up from yet another 15 minute nap). At least some things stay the same--much as we might want not want them to.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Every kid loves leaves. And Nans.

So I've been suffering through a bit of writer's block the last few weeks. Not that there hasn't been anything to write about--believe me, epic sagas, operatic melodramas, and slapstick farces have occured since I wrote last (the slapstick was mainly me, and mainly accidental). I've just had a hard time taking those events and putting them down in anything vaguely resembling a coherent thought.

Or maybe I've just been really, really lazy. You decide. Mom, don't answer that one.

Anyway, a couple of days after Thanksgiving Sarah, Janet, and I were raking our front lawn for the first time this autumn when it hit us: why not stick our 9 month old child, who is barely mobile and has a very hard time distinguishing between pureed apricots and toxic sludge, in this 3 foot tall pile of leaves and dirt and goodness knows what else and take lots of pictures? Sure, she could eat a passing cockroach as the pile slowly engulfs her, but it would be so cute!

These are the things that cause kids to hate their parents later in life.

Fortunately Eden survived and we were able to post the results. No cockroaches, no asphyxiation from an overlarge oak-leaf pile, just one cute kid and a happy Nan. She did manage to chomp down at least part of a leaf at some point (Eden, not her Nan). We know because we saw it again when it came back up, along with a conglomerate of breastmilk and mixed veggies. But hey, who hasn't eaten a leaf at some point in their lives?

Oh (and here's the writer's block kicking in again--two weeks of child development summed up in a couple short sentences), Eden has also started to crawl, eat cheerios, and throw temper tantrums. That last one is my personal favorite. Still no teeth, first words, or skinny legs, although by Christmas I expect to have taught her to recite A Christmas Carol while playing Greensleeves on her children's piano. And if she won't perform it for you when you ask, well, I guess it means she just doesn't like you. That, or once again her father got lazy and skipped her training, counting on her spectacular tantrums to make new friends.