Saturday, February 27, 2010

Putting on my Party Dress

It's party day! Tonight I'm going to my friend/neighbor Marilyn's birthday party. And as un-fun as a 60th birthday party might sound, I'm totally pumped, because it's my first opportunity to dress up and get out of the house in months.

My mom is coming to babysit Declan. I know I'll miss him after approximately 10 minutes, but I'll make myself push through and go to the party, or I'll regret it terribly later, when I'm drowning in dirty diapers and feel like I haven't talked to another adult in days.

Aaron is doing well up in Iowa, though I still wish he was here with us. Even though I know that he would be a total pain in the butt about going to this party. Party! Yay!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Back to Bed

Funny story.

Today I was babysitting B, our 3-year-old neighbor. He loves to take all of the liquor bottles out of his parents' cabinet and organize them, talk about them, and just admire them in general. So he was doing that today, but he got frustrated because the plastic handle of tequila had a dent in it. He pushed the tequila away, picked up a different bottle, and announced, "I'm going back to bed, and I'm taking the Crown Royal with me!" And stomps off to his room.

I followed him in, and found him curled up in his toddler bed, hugging the bottle of Crown Royal.

So advanced.

Sometimes I feel like stomping off and going back to bed, too. (And sometimes I feel like curling up with a bottle of liquor, but everyone knows that babies are such a nuisance when they get drunk...) Today I laid down for an afternoon nap, but just as I got comfy and started to drift off, Declan was ready to get up and play. I even asked him nicely if I could take just a tiny power nap, 10 minutes - he said no. Well, he said "baahhgaaauuuoh," but that meant no.

I talked to Aaron. He's been holed up in his motel room all day, watching the WE channel and crying. No joke, he told me that himself. Apparently WE is having a marathon of some tearjerker show.

The baby is about to fall asleep again... I think we'll go for afternoon nap, attempt number two. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day Two

Our second day without Aaron has begun. Not trying to be melodramatic, but it's... a big deal.

I talked to him last night - he was laying down in his backseat nest, parked at a rest stop somewhere in southern Iowa. He said the weather was fine, just really cold. He asked if I was sure that I didn't want to move up to Iowa with him. It took everything within me not to say, "Yes! Turn around! Come get us!" Gotta listen to my head, not my heart, on this one. If we moved up there and chicken farming didn't work out, we'd be stuck.

I actually have a lot to do today, luckily. Keep myself distracted.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Too Quiet

Blogging again, because I couldn't fit all my thoughts in a tweet.

^ Lame. Totally lame. Calling myself out on that one.


Even though there's only one less person, it feels like the house is five hundred times emptier. Aaron is a big person with a big personality. My life has revolved solely around him and Declan for the last two months, since he's been jobless. He has strong preferences, lots of ideas, random outbursts... and now, what do I do? As much as I love Declan, conversations with a four-month-old tend to be one-sided.

I tear up at every little thing. You'd think he died or something. I cried the first time I had to use the bathroom after he left, because I actually had to put the baby in his bouncer rather than just handing him over, saying "Hold him real quick."

This would be easier if Aaron had been gone at work all day for the past few months, but instead we've been attached at the hip. For two months, I literally have not been alone with the baby for more than a couple of hours. We got to share every cute thing he did, argue over every diaper change, collaborate at bath time, everything. I feel like I should be recording every second of Declan's day to send to Aaron, so he doesn't miss out. But I know that he would just laugh at me.

He just called, from outside of Wichita. Says he's bored so he's going to pull over to read and play Scrabble on the iPod that I so graciously let him kidnap. I got a lump in my throat. I wish he were here. The house is too quiet.

Really Gone

Aaron actually left this time. It's been half an hour since he drove away, 30 whole minutes that I've been waiting by my phone, willing it to ring because he came up with a new reason to stay. No luck.

The worst part is that Declan has no idea. He's just napping away, probably thinks his dad is at the gym like usual, coming home in an hour or so. I wonder if, when we go all day without Daddy, he'll be sad. Or worried.

I know we'll both adjust, but it's going to be a rough few weeks.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Baby Model

I just love the faces that Declan makes, but I can never seem to capture them on camera.

Well, this morning, I caught two of the elusive Declan faces.

The "smile-so-big-that-his-whole-body-squirms":

And the "Am-I-allowed-to-be-chewing-on-this?":

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Well, then, nevermind.

So on Monday morning, Aaron packed all of his stuff, stocked up on sunflower seeds and soda, and set off to become a chicken farmer in Iowa. As soon as he pulled away, I sat down and typed out a long, lugubrious blog post about how much I was going to miss him, blah, blah. And just as I was about to click "publish," he called to say that he was coming back home because he forgot to file his taxes.

He says he's leaving on Sunday, after the snowstorm in Iowa is over, but we'll see if that holds true. I think he's just delaying leaving so that he has an excuse to keep making "last suppers" and compelling me to be extra nice to him.

I'm sure I'll write that tragic post again when he really does leave, but for now, I'm going to go snuggle in bed with our sleepy baby.

Oh, also, Declan's eyes are officially turning brown. Just wanted to document for future reference. There's just a small ring of brown around the pupil right now, but I'll bet that it grows in the next few months. Pictures to come soon, when I get the energy to hunt down my camera cord.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Future Chicken Farmer

We went out yesterday to our local free-range chicken farm, to scope out their operation. It was... interesting.

They were having "processing day," which is when they kill, de-feather, chop up and freeze a whole bunch of birds out of this kinda open-air shed next to their house. It was all very hillbilly, with dogs in the yard and scrap metal laying around and chicken guts on the ground.

Aaron is really committed to becoming a chicken farmer, now. He's going up to Iowa this week to get everything set up so that he can get chicks as soon as the snow melts, and start raising his first batch of chickens. Declan and I will stay in Austin, holding down the fort, because our cheap, nice, furnished condo is too good to lose. We'll miss Aaron terribly, though. Once he gets enough money from the chickens, he'll come back and we can hopefully buy a little bit of land, so we can do chickens here.

In the meantime, we all still have the dreaded cold. We're almost over it, but Declan has a lingering cough and yesterday he blew nose bubbles a couple of times. What fun!

Also, I got super bored when I was up with my coughing baby in the wee hours of the morning on Friday and I made a Twitter. So if anyone reading has one, I'm NatAndDec.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Declan has his first cold. It sucks. And I've discovered that the only thing worse than having a sick baby is coming down with his sickness yourself. Trying to blow your nose with one hand while holding a screaming, coughing infant in the other is really quite tough. Last night we got up twice to steam up the bathroom (this poor, lazy mom's version of a humidifier!) because neither of us could breathe.

Sorry, I'm trying not to have a huge pity party here. I'm just bitter because when we finally fell asleep this morning after steam room session #2, Aaron came bouncing in, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, laid down next to me and woke up the baby. On purpose. GAH! The he decided to take Declan in the shower with him, and I was thinking, "Okay, this is good, I'll get some sleep while he showers with Declan and plays with him, I forgive him..." Not four seconds later, I hear banging on the wall between the bathroom and bedroom. "NAAATALIE! He's ready to get OUUUT!" It took all of my strength to heave my exhausted body out of bed to retrieve my now wide-awake baby.

All of the positive energy I have left in my body is being sent to the Goodriches. After a weekend of ignoring my phone, I turned it on and received a text (which I think was part two of two, as it didn't make much sense) asking for my prayers. So I've been sending prayers, vibes, and any other form of energy I can muster up out into the universe.

Friday, February 5, 2010


I remembered the other piece of news that I wanted to say earlier. And all but one of you will be disappointed, because this is only relevant to Julie.

Julie - I finally finished Dexter! I was watching the last episode on the edge of my seat, because I knew from the way you talk about it that something big happens, but it was pretty calm until the last 5 seconds of the episode! And then I was like, "AHHH! Yuck! Poor baby. Geez. So that's why Julie was all worked up about it." So now we can discuss! Sorry I'm so slow.

Belly Laughs

I had two pieces of news, but I forgot one of them. Oops.

The one that I remember is great though: Declan learned to laugh! Last night Becky tickled his tummy, and he let out the cutest chuckle. I tried all evening to make him laugh again, but he wouldn't do it. Then this morning, I was blowing raspberries on him, and he laughed! It is the most wonderful sound in the world.

I made a wonderful dinner last night for Sue, Becky, Grandma, Aaron and myself. Seared and roasted salmon with lemon-ginger butter, mashed sweet potatoes made with apple cider, and swiss chard with raisins, garlic, and pine nuts. Oh yum. And tomorrow I'm going to attempt to make Rick Bayless' Santa Rosa plum galette. It looks simple enough, but I know better than to underestimate the amount of frustration baking can cause.

I promise to take more pictures and video soon, especially of the laugh! Baby D is waking up and I must go change a diaper.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Making a Splash

Today, Declan went swimming for the first time!

I wish I had pictures, but it was just the two of us, and there's absolutely no way to handle a slippery wet baby and a camera at the same time unless you have 4 arms.

Aaron took us to the YMCA, and while he lifted weights and such, Declan and I chilled in the kiddie pool. It was unusually warm (read: bathwater) and full of senior citizens doing their water aerobics and gossiping. Declan absolutely adored it. We will definitely be doing that more often!

The only hard part was showering off afterward. Here's a puzzle for you all to solve: if you have a baby wrapped in a towel, and you need to wrap yourself in a towel, but all surfaces that you could possibly set baby on are sopping wet and probably germy and unsafe, how do you dry yourself off? I came very close to asking the nice naked woman loitering around the shower area if she would hold him for a split second, but she was just so... naked. She kept talking to me about babies and stuff, and I was like, I'm trying really hard to look at your face and not your boobs, lady. It makes it difficult for me to respond appropriately to your stories.

I think the best part of swimming was how quickly Declan passed out afterward. I had barely strapped him into his carrier when he was out like a light. I could tell it was that lovely, waterlogged kind of tired that you get when you tire yourself out swimming, then dry off and get into comfy warm clothes and take a nap. Ahh. Feels good just typing that.

I have one random, unrelated pice of advice for everyone, and myself. Do not fall asleep with a cherry cough drop in your mouth. You will wake up with bright pink drool-stains on your pillow, and a half-eaten cough drop stuck in your baby's hair. Ew.