Friday, September 24, 2010

Calli's One!

The first pictures are at home, when we got speghetti & lasagna from Andrea's favorite restaurant.

Tuesday the 21st was our darling girl's first Birthday. As Andrea said, “Somebody, on some plane of existence, thought it would be a good idea for us to have a child.”

She's started walking, though crawling's faster, so, in the spirit of efficiency, I'm sure, she still crawls when there's somewhere she really wants to be. She's also started imitating speech. Her current favorites are “Ha ha ha” from a story we read her, and “Oh Yeah.” Awesome. Occasionally, we'll get “Poopy,” “Allah” and “Buday” (Spell Check isn't helpful on that one. It's that toilet-fountain meant to replace shit-tickets.) We've decided that it's time to retire the “F-Bomb,” and other offensive words, 'cause you just know she won't repeat them until she's in the situation that would most embarrass us. Like meeting one of my super-sensitive bosses and saying “Fucktard” or “Oyster Rose.” Oh yeah, I went there.

On Sunday, we had her first Birthday Party (Thanks again mom-in-law for hosting), and she got her own cake. We were sure she would make a mess of it, and she did, but not half as bad as we would have expected. Still, it was easier to just strip her down and take her to the tub. And Calli learned that she loves cake & icing. A lot. When I tried to dress her after her bath, she was literally bouncing. I'm sure every parent before me has already learned this, but cake is like speed for babies. The cats are concerned; after a year of successfully staying out of reach, they suddenly don't have a chance.

It turned out to be a lovely time and more of an adult social & photo op. As Andrea said, it takes a village, and we were glad to have so many family & friends in attendance. There were two conspicuous absences though. Can you guess who? It was the two ladies who said “Oh, you just HAVE to have a chocolate cake. Don't worry, I'll bath her and help clean up.”

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Haven't Literally Messed Myself. However...

It's been a week and a half since I've posted, and I'm sure that the parents among you know why. With Andrea back to work, the chores don't go away. Getting used to this has really taken a toll on all of us.
Calli and I had some great Daddy/Daughter days that left my just exhausted. Trying to take up my share of what Andrea was doing when she had more time has been a learning experience. I've always given my wife due credit for the effort she makes, but now I see that I barely had an inkling of what she did.
By the time I got Calli ready for Daycare, did some chores, made food for her, put the house in some semblance of order, then worked a shift, I was just done for! Even with my vitamin B and copious amounts of coffee, I'd get home, and just collapse.
I noticed this trend last year; the Blogesphere slowed down in September as parents got back into the swing of getting their kids off to school. Now, I'm one of them, and I totally appreciate when parents can squeeze a few extra-curricular activities into their day. Some of the more clever parents I know take the week off to get into the swing of the new school year. I've got next week off, but it's gonna be hairy.
You see, our daycare provider backed out. I get to spend my week off finding someone else to watch Calli so we can continue making an income. yay.
The previous paragraphs were written last Friday. It's been that kind of week. With Calli's Birthday party on Sunday (more on this on Friday for the Birthday Blogfest hosted by Michelle at Southern City Mysteries)we have again been crazy-busy.
Anyhoo, our daycare provider quite because our little angel was unable to settle. Like a lot of 1-year-olds, she was quite confused and distraught with the situation. Now, I'm losing my mind trying to find another provider. This brave soul gave her notice with a Facebook message. Twit.
So, sorry for the delay, but I'm sure you understand (even those who don't relate). If you're reading this, thanks for not giving up on me! And thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law who took pity on me and gave me the afternoon off!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back to work.

Like a million other things, the fear of a thing is worse than the thing itself
Yesterday was Andrea's first day back to work after a year. The day before (Labour Day), she had some butterflies and twitches. God love her, she handled it in true Italian fashion: she made brownies. If any single guys are reading this, try to find a woman who vents-out her anxieties in the kitchen. I know, it may seem that you want a woman who blows-off steam in the bedroom, but don't think for a minute that you'll always be able to keep up with that. Then, you'll have a woman that's anxious and frustrated.

Anyway, she had a better day than she was expecting. A few things have changed, but nothing she can't keep up with, and they went easy on her, not overwhelming her at all.

I spent the day with Calli, and asides from her not getting a proper nap, it went well. I got a lot done, and Andrea came home to a pasta dinner, wine and flowers. I was absolutely spent, and pretty witless. I've always honored stay-at-home-moms, knowing full-well that they have a huge job. Now I've got a glimpse of it, and boy-howdy, it takes a lot out of you.

Today is Calli's first day at Daycare. I thought I'd drop her off a few hours before work so I could get some stuff done. I'd heard that it would be hard to leave her the first time, but assumed that the time to write, play bass, vacuum, what-have-you, would be great, not worrying that I had to tend to her at any given moment. Well, I was fine, until I slowed down, and went into her room. Yeah, I'm a little emotional about it. I'm sure it'll get easier, but today, I miss her.

Thanks for all the great comments! I'm glad to hear that autumn is so popular, I thought Spring & Summer were the popular times, so it's nice to hear that I'm not alone. And yes, I think Blogging can go towards a word-count, unless you have a contract, and people are waiting for your work. (I'm looking at you, George RR Martin!)

Monday, September 6, 2010

"Fall" or "Rise?"

The temperature has dropped, and thus begins my favorite time of year.

There are several reasons why I love Fall. For starters, all my favorite clothes are long-sleeved. This is probably conditioning from when I was a chubby kid, but even now, I'm happiest in jeans and either collared shirts or long-sleeved cottons.

This ties in nicely with another favorite aspect of autumn. Two of my favorite holidays are Thanksgiving and Halloween. One for socializing with family over huge dinners. One for dressing up and gallivanting about the neighborhood. As a child, I'd get a pillowcase full of treats – Huzzah! And I got to dress up like a Jedi or Ninja to boot. Nothing could go wrong with that plan, until the year I got egged by high-schoolers. I was getting too old for it anyway, but a new friend had talked me into it.

Believe it or not, this time of year still triggers my back-to-school mentality. It's time to buckle-down, and devote my energy in whichever direction I'm committed to, usually some form of study. After a few years of establishing my family, my natural inclinations have bubbled to the surface again. My commitment to music has found an expression. After a couple of jam sessions with my friend Kyle, formerly of Breach & Entry, we decided to work together on shows. Once he gets the recording done, he's gonna shop it around, and it won't be long before we're taking to the stage. It's been a very long time since I've played a live show, but I have no doubt that I'll settle into it like a pig in whatever it is that makes pigs happy.

And, of course there's the flip-side of my creative drive: I'm writing almost daily now, though I've yet to reach 1000 words a day. I've taken the advice from several of you to heart (Hart? Cheers, Sister!), that it's more important to have a daily practice than to push myself to an arbitrary goal. I would rather not run the risk of making it a chore, and then making myself so sick of it that it becomes tedious. Naturally, there's a time to wrestle with it until the words come, but that doesn't necessarily mean I need 300 words of shite just to reach a particular number.

What does help, however, it to switch scenes. I may be able to push a thread for 350-500 words before I run out of steam, but then I can pick another character, and see how far I can push the story from their point of view. Does anyone else work this way? What are your tricks to move things along without producing filler?